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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do people decorate the stick is it paint, metal,even seem some stones being used, siver seems populad as well as gold

i have been trying it gold leaf out on different base colousr ( think you spell it is as color correct me if i am wrong) I have found that a red base coat and blue base coats seem to work the best it seems to enhance the gold leaf when i glue it to it anyone tried this? would be interested to have your views

a sample of gold leaf work i made for my wife
 

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Personally I prefer au natural, just stains and sealants. When I do color, I use watercolor paints so that the wood grain can still show through, unless I need it bold, then an acrylic, these have to be spray poly'd

Havent used leaf on sticks, seems like a messy venture, but nice effects on your wife's. I'm sure she is proud of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you tried drawing ink it to shows the grain and is perminant.I also like to show the grian depending on what i do .I tdonr think it bleed so much as water colour , but like youi if use more then 1 colour i use shellac 1st this stops the inks bleeding into one another and alows a definite line
 

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I tend to go with more natural finishes, but because I am still at an early portion of the learning curve, I'm experimenting w. everything, and haven't really settled on any one method. Part of my predilection is that I intend most of what I make for rougher outdoor use.

Currently, my practice is to smooth to 1200 grit. If the grain could use some enhancement, I add some coloration. I've been happy w.a brand of wood dye called TransTint. It comes in a variety of colors, some subtle, others garish. They can be mixed w. alcohol, which reduces the chance of raising the wood grain. They can be mixed very dilute, and applied with multiple coats to reach varying levels of tint that are fairly subtle.

I'm happy w. the finish I get from several coats Tung oil, and have started experimenting w. final coats of shellac. I've also tried A Carnauba based wax finish. It polishes up very nicely, and I hope it proves to be durable.

I did try applying gold leaf once on a picture frame. The underlying color was from a reddish clay. A conservator allowed me to try my hand, and tho I was fairly dexterous at the time, I could not get the hand of draping the leaf onto the frame. That dissuaded me from further attempts. When I had to touch up frames, I used a thick varnish which was a fairly deep red brown, mixed with various colors of metal powder. I've tried that for decoration on a few sticks, but it is not as smooth or elegant as it should be. There are also gilding touch up mixtures that are wax based. They are easier to use than the varnish and powder mix. They also buff up nicely. I don't know that they would withstand outdoor exposure, or rough use.

A few years before I left the museum, there was a very generous donation of hundreds of African artifacts. Among them were a number of "authority staffs." Mostly used ceremonially, rather like a ruler's sceptre, but often taller than a man, they were often highly decorated w. patterns produced by fairly simple tools. Some were studded w. metal beads, and/or glass beads. They made quite an impression on me. More recently, I visited collections of North West American native carvings. Not many sticks. Typically, the low relief carving is colored simply, but I also came across several that were inlaid w. nacreous shell. Very striking.

I've tried some bead inlay, and have inserted some bits of rock. Have yet to try metal. I'm very uncertain about the durability, but have learned that if they items are not smoothly inset, my hand becomes quite irritated during longer walks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Removing the bark from a good shank seems a bit of a sin, it generally has a rick nice colour and you cant beat natures packaging.Some hazels has a rich varitions in colour even snake type marking on the bark. But it seems it is more traditional in the USA to do this? matter of preferance i suppose .I have never stripped a shank yet and its some thing the hardly happens over here.. A good shank when treated with something like danish oil s and given several coats and oiled regularly should last a life time. Yes the search for a good shank is endless but most people in my area top the shank with types of horn and welsh rams horn is sought after, but its not the only type of horn,

Turning a shank is hardly done by UK stickmakers so its just taste, how ever you do have a rich variety of trees to go for and carving into this woul pull out some wondeful grain and pattern in the wood.

But for a carved topper if it isnt going to be painted/stained i would prefer apple,pear cherry.
 
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